Things you always wanted to say but were afraid

Archive for the tag “teaching”

To my babies on starting the school year

The whole group

Always look forward, never backward, every day you get the privilege of going and are able to learn. There are so many that cannot and want to. If you are open and honest you will find something good every day, and if you are ready to learn there will aways be someone ready to teach you. If it is hard work, so be it. Hard work is nothing; we can do that. Not for accolades or rewards do you work hard, but rather to grow inside as a person of good character. If you will do this one simple thing, the world will open its arms to welcome you and your success will be immeasurable.

Love and Peace


And they call themselves Christians



Mother Teresa at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC Thur, 3 Feb 94.

On the last day, Jesus will say to those on His right hand, “Come, enter the
Kingdom. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me
drink, I was sick and you visited me.” Then Jesus will turn to those on His left
hand and say, “Depart from me because I was hungry and you did not feed me, I
was thirsty and you did not give me to drink, I was sick and you did not visit
me.” These will ask Him, “When did we see You hungry, or thirsty or sick and did
not come to Your help?” And Jesus will answer them, “Whatever you neglected to
do unto one of these least of these, you neglected to do unto Me!”

I have trouble understanding those that lump all people using government assistance as lazy.

Do those that are disabled wish to be so?

Do children without health insurance wish to be sick with nowhere to turn?

Do children that are hungry deserve to be hungry when we have the means to feed them?

Do veterans not deserve their benefits they fought for?

Do people who cannot ask their parents for help and need student loans want to borrow money?

Do elderly people in nursing homes want to be there using Medicaid?

Do those that have Downs or other genetic differences ask to be born with them?

Mr. Romney did you ask for rich parents?

Mr. Romney did you ask for the ability to have all medical treatments available for your wife?

Mr. Romney did you ask to be a Mormon?

Mr. Romney you have forgotten the teachings of Jesus Christ.  It is you that feels entitled to the good things you have been so richly blessed with.  You have forgotten the ole variation by John Bradford – There but for the grace of God go I.

A very serious post

If I am talking to a friend about a teacher at school, and I don’t really care too much for this teacher, so I say to you, “Mrs.  Teacher said Little John was really bad and should win the class idiot award.”  You would take that information to help form your opinion of Ms. Teacher, and you might share that information with several others before you investigated the source, if you even ever bothered to find out whether that was true or not.  Deciding to dig deeper, you questioned your own child who was in the same classroom. He/she told you that in fact they were having a discussion about the awards ceremony with the teacher explaining the different awards that would be given and another student said, “Little John should get an award for the class idiot.” While talking about how cruel children can be to each other, Ms. Teacher was conveying the conversation to another teacher in the teachers’ workroom where I was working as a volunteer.  Whether or not I heard the entire conversation and deliberately was trying to turn sentiment against Ms. Teacher, or whether I only heard the part that made me believe Ms. Teacher did say it makes little or no difference to the people who have now formed their opinion of Ms. Teacher based on the misinformation.

Is this right?  What if it is deliberate?  What if the truth came out and I still refused to acknowledge my misinformation even though it was damaging to Ms. Teacher’s reputation?

What do you think?

I’m ticked off all over again about teachers being second guessed


What is wrong with people?  Mr. Romney, in a school, says that he checked to see if smaller class sizes had anything to do with standardized test scores, and it didn’t.  A perfect case of a person that doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.  After retiring from 22 years in public education I can tell you that if you were a smart person you would defer to the experts on this one.  Yes, the superficial correlation do not appear to show that, but it only applies to the upper half of students.  In other words, for the politicians that can’t read above an 8th grade level, for students that make good grades, they can survive in a larger class, but it is the student that struggles who need the smaller groups.  To be exact, for those students behind grade level the most important thing for them is small group instruction with qualified teachers.  I have seen it; the statistics are there to find if you care to; Mr. Romney you are just another in a long line of second guessers that have never taught a group of students already behind usually through no fault of their own.  It is often because of societal issues they are born into.  They get into PK and K with groups of 20 to 30 and don’t get the small group instruction they need, and it is downhill from there.  No one at home is reading to them and with them.  No one is working with them on their homework. No one is enhancing their natural curiosity with proper time and questioning.


Image Detail



Nose Jobs

Photo by GeorgeErmo

Just a short story about a “nose job” that a 4-year-old gave to a classmate one day.

The first day that Pre-K students are allowed to use scissors is a big event at school.  Teachers lose sleep the night before.  Each pair of scissors is carefully handed out, one by one, with the strict admonition not to touch them until told.

Often teachers will recruit parent volunteers for this day, as no matter how hard you try it usually ends up with someone giving themselves or another classmate a haircut.

The instructions given, students are asked to pick up the scissors and begin their projects.  Teacher, and parents (if available) run around the room checking to see that students are being successful.  There comes, inevitably, the student that requires the teacher to stop, bend over the desk and help the student in more detail than others.  It is at that time that usually disaster strikes.

As I said, most of the time it is just a haircut or clothes alteration, but on this day it was a little more;  it was surgery.

One small boy cut the nose of another boy.  He turned to his next door neighbor, carefully placed the scissors up in the classmates nostrils and snipped that little strip that divides the two holes in the nose.  I’m sure it has a name, but I don’t know what it is.

I have never seen blood like that.  Fountains of it.  To shorten the story, he went to the hospital and had to have it glued because it was in a place that could not be stitched.

The mother of the wounded boy was justifiably upset.  What kind of classmate would do such a thing to a friend of his.  I wondered the same thing.

I had one other question.  What kind of kid would sit still while another stuck scissors up in his nostrils and snipped.  It did take cooperation.  Hey, a cooperative learning experience.

Innate goodness; innate intellegince – parents keep the faith

About my middle child…

When Justin was a baby, he was different from what I expected and from what the firstborn had been.  I wasn’t prepared for that.  I had yet to realize that each child is different, sometimes very much so.  Back to baby Justin.  He did not want any light whatsoever to sleep, and he was a good sleeper.  From the time he came home from the hospital, he went down around 7 pm, woke up at 5 am, and only woke up once to nurse.  He nursed for exactly one hour, with his eyes open – he never nursed to sleep.  He did not want to be rocked, just put him in his bed and leave him alone.  He never spoke much, not even baby babble.  He loved music and played with one toy all the time – a John Deere tractor peddle toy.

As he got older, he was not interested in going places.  Not to children’s church activities, or school activities, or to his grandparents.  They could talk him into it if his older brother was going, but it wouldn’t have bothered him if he never went.

It took a lot of coaxing to get a hug and kiss from him.  I always thought he was a little backwards.

In junior high, he began failing first one class, then another.  Here is where I learned the greatest lesson of all.  As a teacher at his school, I was so embarrassed by all the emails and conversations from his teachers.  “He’s just not that book smart,” they would say.  “He just won’t do any work.”  In 3rd grade, a teacher went so far as to tell me that he would never amount to much.  I always wondered how a person could tell that at 3rd grade.

Anyway, the failing grades and the fact that he would not do any homework was very painful – for me and him.  I yelled at him a lot, and grounded him even more.  He didn’t mind; he stayed home just like he preferred.

My husband, his father is a farmer and rancher (retired now) who thinks he finished 6th grade.  He went to school, never liked it, and quit to work in the fields following in the footsteps of 7 brothers.  He is deliberate, hard-working, honest to a fault (if that is possible), and well-respected by everyone, especially by me.

After a very frustrating 7th grade year, I decided that Justin and I needed counseling before I killed him or at the least damaged our relationship beyond repair.  We went to the psychologist, and we talked with her for a while before she asked if she could speak to me alone.  I was bewildered.  I expected her to talk to Justin.  After all, wasn’t he the problem?

All she said to me is, “Why do you feel the need to control everything?”  The heavens opened, and we went home.

When talking to my husband, Rod, about it he gave me the best parenting advice ever.  He told me that I needed to look at the big picture.  He said that Justin may never like school, he certainly did not.  He said that it was much more important for us to see that Justin was honest, hardworking, and caring.  He told me, “You are not going to care in 20 years if Justin failed the 2nd six weeks of 7th grade English, but you will care if he is in jail, won’t work, or beats his family.”

I backed off.  I did not like it.  He did not like school either.  He did not like to sit down, or be inside, or write with a pencil.  He did however, like the smartest girl in the class, worked every day with his daddy, and was trusted by people much older than he in the community.  His uncles and daddy taught him many things; things I did not understand even though I was such a cultured city kid with a graduate degree.

He got through school.  I finally asked him just to be quiet and not keep others from learning.  The smart girlfriend did most of his work – enough for him to get by.  She became the Valedictorian, and he married her and put her through college.  He works everyday, outside in all kinds of weather.  People come to him for advice.  He was at the birth of his three children and continues to be their closest comrade.  He helps us – mows for us, works on things, moves things, changes light bulbs, etc

While cleaning out file cabinets after I retired, I found a file with all of Justin’s discipline notices.  There was not one thing there that was a big deal.  One really got me laughing.  “Justin will not keep his feet out of the aisle and it continues to trip Ryan.”  Big Deal.  What kind of no good scoundrel does that!!

He amounted to much more than the 3rd grade teacher..

Quotations bother me

Why, why, oh why do we Americans using American English put the quotation marks outside of the period IN EVERY SITUATION!  It just doesn’t seem right.  For example:

I said, “Quotation marks should be on the outside when I am finished with the thought.”

I said, “Quotation marks should NOT be on the outside when I am trying to emphasize or partially quote something.”

I said in a previous post that a two people were obviously “a couple.”  I want those quotation marks like this “a couple”.

Then, if you really want to get confused do the quotes inside the quote and have the quote inside the quote at the end of the sentence where you then have three little things hanging in the air.  If you’ve never seen that, it looks like this:

I told Kim, “John said, ‘You are pretty'”.  Like that???

Wouldn’t it make more sense like this:  I told Kim, “John said, ‘You are pretty’.”

Below is a pretty good website to deal with punctuation.  Kids today…they need only search the internet.  We had to read through a grammar book to find what we were looking for.


It was just a thought.

If I had a quarter for everytime I heard the statement, “My child doesn’t lie.”

I cringe everytime I hear that particular sentence come from a parent.  Come on now.  If you are a person that would come unannounced into a place of business and be particularly demanding, I can see where anyone would lie to prevent seeing that side of you.  It is difficult for an adult to stand up to that kind of abrasive treatment much less a child that is looking to please you.  That particular sentence should be outlawed unless you yourself are Jesus and have never lied.  How can a child be something you cannot be?  It can be a good experience if handled correctly, but alas, parents would rather believe their own lies about their children’s honesty.(Or is it about their children’s lies?)  Quite a contradiction isn’t it?

after a long weekend

Back to the exciting life of an elementary school tomorrow after a long weekend.  See what temporary insanity awaits me.  You never know;  it is so unpredictable.  The student that stands up in the middle of the classroom and shouts shut up to everyone.  When he is sent home after numerous disruptions his mother is unhappy because she just can’t babysit him.  (Neither can I) And what about the other 24 students in the room.  Are we to ignore their rights?  Of course we have an alternative campus, but no one wants us to put an elementary student in there because it requires hiring another teacher to man the room with the one student.  Not very cost effective, but hey everyone is now “entitled” to an education – psychotic or not.  On the other hand, the Down’s Syndrome student that has learned to read this year at the age of 9.  Hey, it may only be a kindergarten book at 22 words per minute, but what a joy to see and how hard she works at it.  Most days the 99% are great, but that 1% keeps monopolizing the majority of the time.  Reminds me of the protesters currently calling themselves the 99%.  The ones that do what they are supposed to are always overshadowed by that 1%.  Maybe those corporate greedy 1% should man the school for the disruptive student 1%.

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